MATT Ophir (Short Takes 5/8), when a 13-year old girl mirrored the racist jeers of the so-called adults around her at an AFL game did they reprimand her or explain the inappropriateness and nastiness of such behaviour? Apparently not. Instead, when the target of this abuse called it out, thousands of others hid behind her youth and stepped back from taking any responsibility for the behaviour.
Adam Goodes immediately made it crystal clear that the focus of his response to being racially abused was the culture of the crowd that encouraged the child, not the child herself. The child's words were a reflection of the mob mentality, 50,000 brave souls bullying one man. Yes, he was a footballer in a public domain but his football wasn't targeted. Such insulting comparisons to animals and lesser beings is personal abuse based on a sad tradition of racist elitism.
It took courage and strength for Adam Goodes to call out this culture and I respect him for it. I feel ashamed to share my skin colour with the cowards who hid in the mob and allowed a child to bear the focus of repercussions resulting from their bigotry.
Janet Sutherland, Hillsborough
THE DATA LINES UP NICELY
PETER Devey (Letters, 5/8) questions both the climate model's accuracy in predicting global atmospheric temperature rise, and the significance of that rise. A number of atmospheric climate change models have been developed since the 1970s and progressively refined as more data led to better understanding of the drivers affecting our climate.
The three latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports showed less than 20 per cent variation between their temperature predictions and the actual temperature rise from 1970 to 2016. I would consider this good correlation.
The global atmospheric temperature has increased by 0.9 degrees Celsius since 1901 and 0.26 degrees Celsius in the first 17 years this century.
In contrast, the last de-glaciation period saw atmospheric temperature increase by 6 degrees Celsius over 7000 years, leading to massive changes in the earth's climate. Do the sums and you will find the speed of warming this century to 2016 is 24 times that rate, and continuing to accelerate as the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere increases. Little wonder then that climate scientists are neither lying or exaggerating when warning we are facing a situation that, if not urgently addressed, could threaten life on earth.
Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi
TIMES WILL KEEP CHANGING
BHP is to be commended on its announcement to reduce its carbon emissions and those of its customer networks (SMH 23/7). Recently, BHP management commented that the energy sector decarbonisation will see thermal coal 'phased out, potentially sooner than expected.
However, it seems Whitehaven hasn't got the message. Last month a small advertisement appeared announcing that their Narrabri underground thermal coal mine is planning an expansion to its mine, extending the mine's life from the current close-date of 2031 out to 2045.
Survey submissions to Whitehaven are open now until mid-August. They purport to be seeking the community's input into the social impacts of mining thermal coal beyond 2031 to help inform their environmental impact statement.
The scientific consensus of evidence clearly proves the need to stop our consumption of coal. It is ludicrous to imagine that a snapshot of responses to a survey held mid-2019 could be considered an appropriate guide for a development starting in 12 years' time.
The understanding of the impacts of coal, and coal mining, have certainly changed significantly over the last 10 years and will no doubt continue to do so over the coming decade. In my opinion Whitehaven may be gaming the system, trying to lock in developments whilst they still have a remote chance and effectively locking out future opinions informed by future evidence of the damage caused by coal.
I believe Whitehaven should be showing leadership equal to that of BHP, particularly in a community that is one of the hardest hit by the impacts of climate change.
Peter Wills, Breeza
WORK FOR SOCIETY'S BENEFIT
WHY aren't the government doing more in relationship to water storage? Imagine how many people could be employed.
Also, why aren't we building tiny houses for people who are homeless? I am sure it would mean so much to them. Great for their self-esteem. There is so much spare land out there. No-one should ever be homeless.
I am sure many people in Newcastle would be happy to secure extras as needed when they shift in.
Imagine how many people could also be employed building these tiny homes. Many could be given apprenticeships, providing a great start and a great future for so many.
It's so upsetting to see so many homeless; so many women and children. I am not forgetting the men. They all need a home base, somewhere to just call home.
Margaret Roberts, New Lambton
BRUTAL TRUTH OF BIKES
MELBOURNE'S Southbank Promenade is now off limits to all those rotten, pedestrian petrifying, unlicensed, unregistered, unregulated, uninsured and unpopular bitumen bandits and pavement pirates ('Council plan to ease pedestrian, cyclist crush on Southbank Promenade', The Age 9/5).
Is this the beginning of the long-awaited fightback against those pedalling two-wheeled vehicles of mayhem?
Why am I so vitriolic when it comes to cyclists? Because I've been hit several times from behind (as a pedestrian) by idiots with handlebars doing an enraged African Cape buffalo proud.
That's not to mention being "reverse-doored" twice by idiotic cyclists hitting the outside of my wide-open driver's door; then (while looking up from the road) foully, threatening to sue even though they (the idiotic, inner-city, area cyclists) were riding very fast in the wrong bike lane, on the wrong bloody side of the road, with poor old me, having checked my driver's door rear-view mirror and looked behind me as I gingerly opened my driver's door.
I won't tell you about the imbecile who rode up on the left of me when I was reversing. I'll save that for another day, but it was just as well I had witnesses.
Howard Hutchins, Chirnside Park
LETTER OF THE WEEK
THE pen goes to Lyn Rendle for her letter on the lack of action over sexual assault allegations.